Art director Isaac here with an art reveal today. Recently Brandon, Kara, and Adam have been discussing publicity for Rhythm of War, and one thing that Tor has asked for is a simplified symbol to represent the Stormlight Archive on certain marketing materials.
Now, to be clear, we love the original Stormlight Archive symbol, and we are in no way abandoning or replacing it. Many readers have bought shirts and decals or have even gotten tattoos of it. We are using it in The Way of Kings leatherbound and will continue to use it as a chapter icon in Rhythm of War and future Stormlight books. So rest assured that we are not retiring this tried and true iconic symbol.
However, the symbol is complex, and it doesn’t read well at small sizes, so at Tor’s request, we’ve sought a simplified design. During this search, it occurred to Brandon and me that eventually we’ll need simplified symbols for all of the Cosmere worlds—symbols that will need to be easily recognizable from far distances—basically, space-era versions of our current symbols.
So, after hundreds of drawings and thumbnails, we’re unveiling to you now the space-era symbol for the Stormlight Archive.
We’ve built this on the skeleton of the original symbol, preserving the relationship between the sword, circle, and main focal point. Instead of extra swords, we have rays of light. Instead of the complex double-eye of the Almighty, we’ve chosen the burst of light from the original Cosmere symbol.
Going forward, we will actively use both this symbol and the original in promoting the Stormlight Archive, and eventually you can expect space-age versions of many of the current Cosmere planetary symbols.
The time has come! Though I’ve had an instinct for many months that the title of Book Four would be Rhythm of War, I had to make certain it fit into the last chapters of the book as I wrote them.
Indeed it does, and I feel comfortable announcing this at long last as the official title of the book. Like previous titles in this series (The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer) this one is taken from the title of an in-world volume of text. To tell you more would, of course, be a spoiler. Let’s just say that this is the first of one of these in-world books that has involved the writings of someone who is not human.
I’m hard at work on revisions, and am excited for the end of the year—when I can finally share Rhythm of War with you all!
It’s been a dream of ours here at Dragonsteel to get to work with Donato on a piece of epic fantasy art depicting a scene or character from one of Brandon’s books. We were admirers of Donato’s work even before he created the illustration for “Firstborn” on Tor.com, and wow, did he create something beautiful there. So when Brandon came to me with the idea of paintings of all ten Heralds from the Stormlight Archive, the first person that came to both of our minds was Donato.
And again, Donato has knocked this one out of the park. His rendition of Taln (Talenelat’Elin) is gorgeous. It strikes the right balance between realism and symbolism, and gives us a heroic, yet tormented, version of this beloved Herald. We love what Donato has done!
We have several paintings of the Heralds in the works, so this one is likely to appear on the end pages of this book or the next, depending on which Heralds we feel look good together and best represent the themes of the books.
Without spoilers, what can readers look forward to? [In Rhythm of War]
There is a character moment that was one of the pillars of my outline from the very beginning. This scene that I was working on. There were only two or three scenes that were core pillars. My beta readers feel like it landed. There won’t be a moment like this again until Book 7 or 8.
Will we ever get anything from Wit’s point of view? Maybe an interlude?
Each book has an epilogue from Wit’s point of view. You will eventually get his backstory. That’s a three-book series that I’m planning after the Stormlight Archive narrative is done, so I’ve gotta keep moving! I actually think it would be fun some time to write a novel of him telling a story.